Hey friends!! So, St Patrick’s Day is coming up, and how cool would it be to celebrate that day by having an Irish stew….in a pie!? It would be pretty awesome right? Read on to learn how to make this bad boy.
Yes, that’s right, all of the Irish stew ingredients and flavours bubbling away under crispy puff pastry. Super comforting, and yes, of course, you don’t just have to serve this on St Patties Day, it’s a very comforting and filling dish so there is no doubt in my mind that it’s the perfect recipe for a cold winters day.
Now, we must keep in mind that this isn’t just a stew, it’s a filling for a pie. Now some of may be thinking “well duh”, but allow me to explain what I mean in further detail because it’s important.
So, the only thing we really have to make sure of here, is that filling is nice and thick, so quite a gravy-like consistency. If the filling is too thin, it may spill out of the sides and/or it could make the pastry go too soggy.
Also, when you cut into a comforting savoury pie like this, you want to see that nice, dark, thick, rich filling. Not a filling that is too thin and liquidy, especially when you’re trying to serve it with crispy puff pastry.
So how do we make the filling thick enough? Ok, so before I add my beef stock to deglaze the bottom of the pot or pan, I added some flour to coat the frying onions and carrots to soak up all of the oil (as the oil can interfere with the filling). With most stews or casseroles that I make, one tablespoon of flour is usually fine, however, in this case, I added 2 tablespoons to make the filling extra thick.
I didn’t add too much liquid to the filling (which in this case is the stock and water). I added enough to almost coat all of the ingredients, which was a good amount for me. From there, I like to simmer the stock and let it reduce. This will not only thicken the mixture but will also intensify the flavour of it as well.
The Egg Wash
So, not long ago I made meringues, which, as I’m sure most of you know, only require the egg whites. So, instead of wasting the eggs yolks, I decided to store them away until there was a good opportunity to use them.
And because I knew I was going to make this pie at the time I thought to myself “hmmm, I wonder if egg yolks alone would be a good egg wash…”. So, I started doing my research, and I found an article that shows you how to prepare different egg washes (I have linked the article at the bottom of the post) and it was super helpful.
It turns out that egg yolks and cream mixed together makes a fantastic egg wash that will give the pastry a beautiful golden brown shiny presentation.
Not only that, when you brush this egg wash around the rim of the pie dish, the pastry will stick and seal the edges much more effectively due to the fact that the egg wash is much thicker.
And because the mixture is quite thick, it’s more difficult to brush on the pastry. So I decided to add a little more cream than just a splash to thin the egg yolk out a bit.
I’m not implying that this is the only egg wash that will work. If you would rather just whisk an egg, go right ahead. It’s just something to try or to keep in mind.
Making the Pie in Advance
Ok, so when it comes dishes that involve puff pastry, the best time to serve the dish is ASAP, straight after it’s cooked. So I would avoid cooking the pie, then keeping it in the fridge for later and heating it up when you’re ready to serve because the pastry will lose its quality.
Now, you could freeze the pie, then heat it up until the pie is thawed out and hot again. However, there is an easier and more effective way to go about doing this, and that is just to not cook the pie at all until you’re ready to serve it.
So, you fill the pie dish with your filling, put the pastry over the top, egg wash the pastry etc. Then just leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook and serve it. That way, you can make the pie in advance, and you can serve it fresh!
Pretty easy right!? And you’ll be able to serve the pie just like this:
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Thanks again, and have an amazing St Patrick’s Day!
Irish Stew Pie
- 1 cup of plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 kg of lamb shoulder diced into inch thick chunks
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 brown onions peeled and sliced
- 300 g carrots peeled and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 600 ml of beef stock
- 250 ml of water
- 550 g potatoes diced into inch thick dices
- ½ a tablespoon of tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 handful of fresh mint leaves
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons of cream
- Extra flour for dusting
- 2 sheets of store-bought puff pastry
Put your cup of seasoned flour in a bowl.
Put your lamb in the bowl of seasoned flour, make sure every dice of lamb is coated, shake off the excess flour as you transfer the lamb to another bowl. Discard the flour.
Pre-heat a large pot over high heat. Once the pot is nice and hot, add your vegetable oil, then add your lamb adding one dice at a time, making sure each dice of lamb has it's own space to fry in the pot (if you need to fry the lamb in multiple batches, that’s fine).
Once the lamb is browned all over, transfer it to a bowl.
Turn the heat in the pot down to medium heat, add a touch more oil if need be, then add your onions and carrots. Fry in the pan for a minute or 2.
Add your 2 tablespoons of flour, then coat the onions and carrots in the flour.
Add your beef stock, water, seared lamb, potatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then down to a simmer. Let the mixture bubble away for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally so the mixture doesn't stick and burn at the bottom.
Once you have a nice, thick stewy mixture, season the filling to taste with salt and pepper, add your fresh mint and mix through.
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C (360 degrees F)
Whisk the egg yolks and the cream together in a bowl.
Transfer your filling to a pie dish and brush the beaten egg and cream around the rim of your pie dish.
Lightly dust a flat clean surface with your extra flour, then place one sheet of puff pastry on your surface. Place the other sheet directly on top, then dust the pastry lightly again. Roll the 2 sheets of pastry against one another until the pastry binds together and becomes as thin as one sheet.
Lay the puff pastry over the pie dish, trim off any excess pastry hanging over the sides, then firmly push the edges of the pastry down on the rim of the pie dish so it sticks.
If you want, you can use some of the excess pastry to create the shamrock symbol, egg wash it, then stick in on top of the pie. Egg wash all of the pastry on top so it comes out of the oven nice and golden brown.
Cook your pie in the oven for 40-45 minutes, then serve.
- Make sure the filling is nice and thick by adding plenty of flour to the pot before adding your stock and water, by not adding too much liquid and by letting the mixture simmer for a good amount of time so it reduces.
- The egg wash in this recipe is made by whisking egg yolks and cream together, this is a much more effective eggs wash as it helps the pastry stick to the rim more effectively, and it makes the pastry darker, shinier and a more golden brown colour.
- If you want to make the pie in advance, store the pie raw in the fridge, then start cooking it 40-50 minutes earlier than the time you're ready to serve.
- You can use cheap cuts of beef instead of lamb if you wish.
- You can use chicken stock instead of beef stock, although if you do, just add 750ml of chicken stock and don't worry about adding any water (the only reason I watered down the beef stock is because it has quite a strong flavour).
Other Wonderful Pie Dishes
Shepherds Pie with Potato and Sweet Potato
The article about different eggs washes: Put Color and Shine on Pastry Crust with an Egg Wash
So glad to see quantities of carrots and potatoes in grams as they vary so much in size. Definitely going to try this one!
Yes I thought that was a good idea! will probably do that from now on. I hope you like the recipe (:
The Cooking spoon
This is making me very hungry, looks so amazing 👌
Thank you so much!!
Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
This looks so good! I LOVE a good pie!
Thank you so much Alexandra!! Keep up the fabulous work on your blog…looks incredible!
This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try making it!
Hope you enjoy!! Let me know how it goes!!